Viking FK assistant manager Morten Jensen believes next week’s Europa League showdown with Aberdeen is too close to call, but hopes his side’s artificial pitch can tip the tie in their favour.
The Dons face Viking on September 17 at the 16,000-seater SR-Bank Arena, on a synthetic pitch.
Jensen, speaking to Original 106, said: “It is a big difference playing on grass compared to on our turf. Even though it is a game without a crowd, it makes a big difference being at home because we can play on our AstroTurf.
‘‘It is a different style of play when you play on AstroTurf than you do on grass. It is very pacey and it is different when it comes to putting pressure on a team and winning the ball.
“It is easier to win the ball and pressure on grass than AstroTurf. Hopefully we can have a slight competitive advantage by playing on AstroTurf.”
Viking are 10th in Norway’s top flight after 16 games and Jensen admits his side are inconsistent.
They earned their spot in this season’s Europa League by winning the Norwegian Cup last year.
Jensen said: “We are not stable enough and it is a rollercoaster team this year. We are winning and losing. We need to find a better path to be more consistent.”
Jensen believes the tie against the Dons is finely poised, but accepts both sides will be underdogs, whoever progresses to the third qualifying round to meet Sporting Lisbon in Portugal a week later.
He added: “In my opinion, it is a 50-50 opportunity for teams to win this game. But going into the Sporting Lisbon away game, you are looking at 90-10 in favour of Sporting beating Aberdeen or Viking.
“Getting past Aberdeen is a huge task. They are a quality team.”